“The first person you should think of pleasing, in writing a book, is yourself. If you can amuse yourself for the length of time it takes to write a book, the publisher and the readers can and will come later.” – Patricia Highsmith, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction
I found this quote oddly liberating.
As I ponder the beginnings of yet another story, it came to me that this could well be the 12,347th time I’ve done this. Some of my story starts have resulted in the development of some darn interesting characters. Others have made it to the sticky middle part. And a few have even reached “The End”. But sadly, most are still wandering aimlessly in the land of hazy ideas, just waiting for an opportunity to blossom.
I admit, boredom tends to set in very quickly with me. I need a steady stream of new challenges and interests coming my way or I’m out there looking for the next one. Same thing applies with writing.
I want to write the “can’t put the book down” story. You know, the kind you read into the wee hours, even though you’ve got a big meeting first thing in the morning. I love the stories that have me turning every page with anticipation.
So that means what I write has to hold my attention for a very long period of time. It has to please me. It has to keep me thinking and typing – starting every new page with anticipation.
Here goes start #12,347.
One response to “Start #12,347”
Thanks for this post, Wendy. You are not the only one in this boat, believe me. Hopefully, that gives you some comfort. I guess the way I've chosen to look at it is that if I abandon an idea, as I often do, it probably wasn't as great as I thought initially. Think of it as the "survival of the fittest" process for story ideas. Some make it, most don't, but that's all right. That's the way of life for story ideas. Presumably, those that make it are the important ones and more worth you spending your time on. As you know, I've been working on an idea for a novel for a couple of months now. I'm as enthusiastic about it as I was, if not more so. How is that possible? Because I believe in my characters, and I feel confident that what I have to say is important. What I mean is that, hopefully, our ideas are bigger than us, have a wider scope and application, and will help us make a difference in the world, even if only in a small way. That's what keeps me engaged in mine. Now, I just need to write the thing. Hang in there, Wendy. You'll make it.